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Conflating Gay And Trans — And More Religious Right Fear Mongering About It

The Christian Post‘s managing editor Lillian Kwon has given us another piece referencing trans people where the conflation of gender identity and sexual orientation is made, entitled Christians Urged to Wake Up to Reality of GLBT Agenda. To quote from the piece (link added):

Dr. Michael Brown believes Christians have already lost the battle when it comes to public opinion on homosexuality and gender identity issues.

Pro-gay books are being read in elementary school classrooms, teachers are being mandated to use gender neutral language, gay activists have been welcomed in the White House, and young evangelicals see no problem with same-sex marriage.

The piece continues:

“The definitions of male and female are being eroded but don’t sweat it because praise the Lord you had a lovely service last Sunday,” he said sarcastically. “Don’t let me disturb you with these trivialities.”

Brown wants to awaken the conscious of Christians and bring them to a “divine reality” about what’s happening in America.

There is a need to reach out to homosexual men and women with compassion, he said, but at the same time there is “a gay activist agenda that we must resist.”

Image: Integrated Male and Female Restroom Sign; Link: Pam's House Blend tag: 'Bathroom'So the referenced Dr. Michael Brown highlights the following, which have everything to do with trans people and transyouth, and not much with teh homosexuals. Some of his concerns:

• … the Los Angeles Unified School District has a policy on “ensuring equity and nondiscrimination” for “transgender and gender nonconforming students.” The policy defines gender identity as “one’s understanding, interests, outlook, and feelings about whether one is female or male, or both, or neither, regardless of one’s biological sex.”

•  In San Francisco, the school policy for restroom accessibility states, “Students shall have access to the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity exclusively and consistently asserted at school.”

And the policy for locker room accessibility states, “Transgender students shall not be forced to use the locker room corresponding to their gender assigned at birth.

Brown then summarized that “if Joey’s convinced he’s Jane, then he can use the girls’ locker room and restroom,” implying as socially conservative Christians often do, of course, that male-to-female people are public restroom predators. In this instance, Brown is implying that those predatores include elementary and secondary school transyouth.

In the article, Brown calls for compassion and understanding for gay and lesbian persons (even though he also says, regarding homosexuality, that it’s a moral responsibility of Christians to “expose darkness and to be a moral conscience and moral preservative”), but makes no such comment on compassion and understanding about transsexual people, transgender people, and people who identify as both transgender and transsexual. In other words, Brown apparently either considers trans people to really be gay people, or he doesn’t believe trans people deserve compassion and understanding.

My guess is that Brown considers trans people to be gay people. It looks to me that Brown joins a long list of religious right people who conflate gender identity and sexual orientation, lumping it all under the heading of “gender confusion.”

Perhaps it isn’t a side note that when Lillian Kwon writes about transgender people and issues over at the Christian Post, to me it appears you can be sure her piece is always going to be in some way agin’ ’em. In the past she’s given us pieces — such as 2007’s Media Bias on Transgenders Raising Concerns, where she began that piece with the sentence…

Growing media coverage and portrayals of the transgendered life have led some Christians to raise the red flag on a movement beginning to go more public much like the homosexual one already has.

…And continued on in the piece to state about pending federal hate crimes legislation:

[More below the fold.]

Federal legislation on expanding hate crimes to include violent attacks against individuals on the basis of “gender, sexual orientation and gender identity” is currently being reviewed by the Senate. Christians have strongly voiced opposition to the expansion, arguing that the bill could silence believers who view homosexuality as sinful. That also applies to the transgender.

In that piece she quoted Dr. Robert Gagnon’s take on 1 Corinthians 6:9 about why transsexuality is sin — a scripture which has actually nothing to do with transsexuality and/or transgenderism.

Kwon also quoted Gagnon on transsexuality in Upcoming Film Follows a Transsexual’s Ordination Journey. From the last two paragraphs of that piece:

Robert Gagnon, associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a conservative ordained elder of the PC(USA), argued in a 2007 paper that “transsexuality is in some respects an even more extreme version of the problem of homosexuality” as it is a denial of one’s own sex and “an overt attempt at marring the sacred image of maleness or femaleness formed by God.”

“Jesus Christ, and not any innate human impulses, is Lord. Accordingly, persons who attempt to change their sex should be prohibited from becoming ordained ministers of the church,” he said.

Kwon has also given us pieces, such as Exodus Launches Initiative to Help Women Affected by Lesbianism, , and Pastors Test Expanded Hate Crimes Law, where in that last piece she highlighted Rev. Grace Harley:

“God loves the homosexual,” the Rev. Grace Harley of Jesus Is the Answer Ministries in Silver Spring, Md., declared.

As someone who previously lived as a transgender (as a man) for 18 years, Harley testified that God set her free and can set others free from all kinds of sexual immorality, not just homosexuality. Jesus died on the cross so that you may be saved, she preached.

Offering a personalized version of the biblical passage Luke 13:13, she said, “Immediately she was made straight and glorified God.”

“I don’t just walk as a woman,” she noted, “but now I know the truth.”

It would be very journalism of Kwon if she actually balanced her pieces with quotes she solicited from trans people of faith.

But that said, Kwon and the Christian Post make it a habit of conflating gender identity and sexual orientation. When she and the Christian Post write about trans people and trans issues rally their Christian Soldiers with the subtle messaging of fear mongering. The fear mongering seems to always allude to the non-existent problem of transgender bathroom predators (where they can’t identify any cases of trans people — let alone people who are crossdressing and pretending to be transgender — who in predatory bathroom behavior, and then tie their public fears regarding transgender bathroom predation to the identities gays and lesbians. The behavior — the fear mongering — by these conservative Christians over an alleged transgender bathroom predator problem is at best unintentionally deceptive, and at worst intentionally deceptive.

And tying that fear of an alleged transgender bathroom predator problem to gay and lesbian people seems to me to be an intentional conflation of sexual orientation and gender identity/gender expression to support their Religious Right Agenda™. And too, at the Christian Post, that conflation can be traced back to their managing editor Lillian Kwon.


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